PBS Need to Know – The Nuclear Option. Damning with faint praise
As a pronuclear advocate who majored in English as an undergraduate, I could not help but notice the frustratingly effective use of slanted language in the above video segment to damn nuclear energy with faint praise.
From the very pregnant pause after President Obama says “if it’s safe…..”, to Dr. Lester’s multiply negative statement saying that nuclear energy is useful, to the inflation of the waste issue right after being told that the input fuel quantity is tiny (a small input of fuel is what makes the size of the waste problem so manageable compared to the alternative of fossil fuel combustion), it is not hard to find examples of phrases that give nuclear a bad impression while seeming to be grudgingly favorable.
Maybe someday, I will have the resources to make a high quality segment that helps people to understand that gas is no where near as abundant as its boosters claim, that focusing on the capital cost of the electric power plant ignores the capital cost of the required fuel infrastructure, and that there are many reasons why the equipment used to convert fission heat to electricity has been forced far higher than the cost of equipment used to convert combustion heat to electricity.
Until then, I will just have to watch segments like this and fume that if Dr. Lester is one of America’s leading pronuclear advocates, it is no wonder why the promised nuclear renaissance is sputtering.
@Rod – I really don’t see what Dr. Lester was saying that was really so objectionable. If anything, it seems more like an issue of what statements the program decided to pick up and how they decided to use his comments.
I don’t think even Dr. Lester was arguing the waste footprint was large (although I agree, the focus on borehole disposal was somewhat questionable, considering that by any reasonable evaluation Yucca Mountain would have provided sufficient isolation). That being said, it is a real issue that the public does care about – simply dismissing it does not make the problem go away (nor does it assuage hesitant members of the public who would otherwise be potentially supportive if they felt like their concerns are reasonably addressed). At best one could criticize his dry, laconic, academic style. Which is fine – academics and scientists are often terrible spokespersons for advocacy. That doesn’t indicate any particular problems with what he said, however.
I will buy that it seems at this limited glance (without seeing the other side with the German anti-nuclear activist) that the show seemed unreasonably skeptical of the issue – I question whether renewables and arguments by the anti-nuclear advocates receive a similar critical treatment – I’m skeptical. Perhaps if you find the video segment your readers can also be the judge.
The biggest problem is his delivery. He says all very important points. I agree that the 4 or 5 km hole for the waste is not the solution. It is the the worse thing he had to say. They way he framed his answers did seem apologetic and that is not a healthy way to get your point across.
Lester’s words were not objectionable. They were also completely uninspiring and cautios. That is the epitome of the communications technique I call “damning with faint praise.” It is a frequently used strategy in military personnel evaluation systems where there is a need to identify the chosen few for promotion while not offending the solid middle performers that are vital to the continuing function of the organization.
Nuclear is not chosen for rapid promotion because it is so good that it would reduce the profitability of trying to sell any other form of energy. If rational evaluation was practiced, there wouldn’t be any need for “The Future of…” series of reports from MIT.
Dr. Lester should have proposed reprocessing rather than a deeper repository (or as the clip called it “waste dump”) and he should have hit natural gas harder because it still releases substantial co2 and he should have talked more about how the current fleet of plants ARE SAFE.
Here’s why nuclear needs a Carl Sagan (Gates would be good IF he expanded beyond pet projects) to field “probing” media questions like this, not sincere but media ingénue nuclear scientists and engineers.” This was just another grim-faced token PBS “see, we’re being fair to nuclear power too!” piece. Be nice to have this anon German anti-nuker having a toe-to-toe debate with a pro-nuclear instead of a uncritical FUD-fest with fellow-feeling reporters after this clip. You hit back right at the gate — Er, first off, Mr and Miss Media, an earthquake and tsunami CAUSED what happened at Fukushima, not some intrinsic failing in the normal operation of the plant itself. Hearing the word “accident” repeated over this lends the public to believe that this incident reveals some inherent inevitable failing in every nuclear plant! Hey, Mr. and Miss Media, which “when it goes wrong it goes so terribly wrong” is worst — the terribly wrong happening in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago or Fukushima? Which picture portrays a lethal event — a burnt-out oil rig or the whacked ruins of a Fukushima reactor building? Oh BTW, please stop flashing the bunny-suits romping amid tsunami destruction landscapes in Fukushima features? Oh, you mention that old chestnut that “it’s hard to control that much power”. Oh really? We have Godzilla straining on his chains, right? Gee, after nearly fifty years of nil deaths, we better phone the gas and oil companies for advice on how to handle wild untameable energy beasts, don’t you think? Waste? Sorry, what’s the big deal? Have every plant site a mile deep borehole where the sun won’t shine for eons to dump the barrels in. Simplistic? Sure, but then who cares where their own trash goes after the garbageman picks it up? The coyly cynical undertones and poker expressions of the reporters carry the producer’s — yes, anti-nuke attitude. It’s always “the professor says/thinks” when the reporter is mentioning a fact. I’ve NEVER heard (at least in NYC metro media) reporters question and probe the drawbacks of razing mountains for windmills and mowing over countries and prairie and shore for solar farms. The doubt and concern over windmills and sprawling solar farms just isn’t there — in fact they’re often very cheery and perky about it. The ominous FUD cloud hovers over this report — not explicitly but sly and subtle because everything there lingers questions of nuclear even after receiving reasonable answers and in the face of facts. I bet a viewer is left even more bemused and unsettled than enlightened over nuclear than before.
James. I totally agree. You get it. Nuclear supporters have nothing to be ashamed of unless you call failing to jump to it’s defense shameful. For anyone who wants to take action to give the proper attention and prominence nuclear energy needs check out The Energy Reality Project http://www.facebook.com/groups/energyreality
It is a new idea and I hope we get support to make videos and learning materials. The concept originated after witnessing of the disappointing success of Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project. They have 6,000 Climate Leaders worldwide trained to promote renewable energy and ignoring nuclear energy.
This is getting crazy. A movement that wins over the hearts and minds of the young people who get brainwashed with false promises about a future without nuclear.
I think we need a training program to educate not just fill students heads with talking points but really understand energy density and how nuclear has not been given the chance to show it’s potential.
Thanks Rick, but ruefully IMO the solution for countering the anti-nuclear tide and cult antinuke activists and a complicit media and feckless pols requires action far far greater than nuclear teach-in Tupperware parties sprinkled around the country. That’s not how Tylenol recovered their literally poisoned reputation and market and it’s not how BP is actually winning tourists back to the Gulf States. It’s a get-down serious mass media game now, and I really think the best immediate-term prompt to get the positive nuclear message out is to bark and push nuclear professional organizations and unions which best have the resources and facilities and resources in place into realizing it’s an emergency and go on offense via mass media campaign and education mode. I’d plunk one in their cup to fund such if they passed one around, but they have to have the clueness and guts to DO it! After all it’s their careers and livelihoods on the line I hope they know!
James you are pushing your right leaning sight a little strong there. Tupperware parties? I would not put down grass root attempts to make a difference. But I agree that more is needed from the nuclear industry. Bruce Power in Ontario is doing a good job.
No, sincerely, I’m not putting down grass roots. I’ve worked political GR and know the sweat and paper cuts and bunions it causes. I’m just stating that at this time and stage it’s wholly ineffective and inadequate for the task at hand for mass nuclear enlightenment and acceptance. Maybe I’m ignorant of it, but I doubt a nuke in the U.S. was spared by GR nuke education. It’s just great for recruiting people into nuclear careers and reassuring nuke plant communities, a little bit less for countering nuclearphobia curricula in schools, but it’s no Madison Ave to enlighten whole states and regions by or presenting toe-to-toe challenges to pop anti-nuke activists on the stump and prowl. Right after TMI sure, hard GR would’ve made a snowballing big difference by now, but IMO it’s far too late to make a real effect. Shoreham and Maine and Connecticut Yankee and now VY taught us that it’s a full blown media war now for hearts and minds over fear and ignorance and that’s where all GR talent and leaders ought move to under sponsorship of industry and community hosts. Go the Carl Sagan/Mr. Wizard route. We ought check out how BP and Tylenol did it. Media and web is where the action is to turn things around — if one doesn’t wait too long to head off the steamroller.
re your statement: ” I’ve NEVER heard (at least in NYC metro media) reporters question and probe the drawbacks of razing mountains for windmills and mowing over countries and prairie and shore for solar farms.” I am pretty sure reporters do not know anything about razing mountains for windmills etc. They need specific story proposals where this is the angle which a freelancer or a pr writer can provide. It is good to focus on a single angle if you want your story aired, The story in its second half can then add some overview. Staff reporters rarely research a subject unless it is presented to them first — and then they prefer the story proposals that contain easy to use factoids. The majority of news reports have a PR release at its beginning. If it is a feature story (analysis, wider view etc.) then it’s up to a freelancer to present a good usable angle. Media is more about style, fitting into their content requirements etc. than views. You can change the tide of media. It takes a skilled writer who knows the rules and how to manoever around them. Freelancers are used because they are the ones with the unique angles.
Re: “I am pretty sure reporters do not know anything about razing mountains for windmills etc..”
Are you telling me vehemently pro-eco green-tinted reporters are clueless what it takes to erect the wind mills crowning and despoiling every peak that they’re praising?? That they miss the mountaintops being sheared like sheep within eye-shot of thousands of motorists in Vermont and Virgina and other so luckless states? That that sight didn’t trigger a substory notion about the wildlife pushed out and priceless pristine scenic vistas lost? Gee, reporters damn sure have no trouble getting expert down to every flawed nut and bolt of what makes a nuclear plant so damn dangerous despite facts and record, do they? Wonder how they slipped all that security to find out for themselves how much of an uncontrollable monster reactors are! The only thing more damning than slanted reporting is creative unresearched _stories_ which is what you get when the lazy-ass “reporter” is sealed at his desk writing about situations and events sight unseen and unheard and unvisited. That’s no true reporter. That’s a hack writer. Yea, that’s real “eyewitness” investigative reporting for you! Then I guess all their nuclear issue footwork is done and handed them with a neat bow by Greenpeace & Co. which explains a lot. Sorry. it’s my experience since the Shoreham media-slander travesty that the media is biased as hell and the seven sins toward nuclear for pious social-champion and weirdly anti-war philosophical reasons and they and fellowfeeling TV producers have done most everything under the sun to impugn and demonize in the darkest possible light an energy source those worldwide mortality score in sixty years barely equals two months of _directly fatal_ fossil casualties alone in a year –including worst accidents. The mighty hypocrites. Clueless about wind and solar’s environmental impacts. Baloney! Rotten baloney!
After viewing that I have to wonder how much of Lester’s responses the editors cut to make the case for nuclear power look worse.
The litmus for me is whether or not he wants to throw once through a LWR Nuclear fuel down a 5 Km hole. I suspect he does.
The Video points out that he doesn’t get money from the Nuclear industry, but we can bet MIT gets a hefty fistful of cash from Fossil fuel industries in support of themselves and their feigned replacements, wind and solar.
I agree. https://atomicinsights.com/has-the-mit-energy-initiative-been-captured-by-natural-gas-industry-money/
BTW – when Moniz submitted his financial disclosure for Sec DOE, it listed total net worth between $5.7 and $18 million. Evidently, energy focused professors make a good living at MIT.
Doesn’t UCS claim that they started at MIT? And that other group of yahoos with the deceptive name… American Federation of Scientists, I think — but may be wrong.
Anti-nuclear FUD has been spewing from MIT for decades, either directly or indirectly.
Bravenewclimate encouraged us to vote for the IFR project in one of MIT’s Climate CoLab competitions. I looked over the other competitions and the entries in several of them. Many of the competitions have built into the assumptions the idea that the populace will be forced to change their way of life to something more expensive and less convenient or both. Most of the entries are of that force-advocating ilk. I am disgusted.
Very likely. I think the interviewer and the woman at the beginning are acting like the issues are more serious than they are. Over all the message is good. But it could have been presented in a much more positive light. I agree with Rod. Faint praise.
At first I was cynical that MIT has more grant money with a deep borehole study, however we will still need some kind of repository for post-reprocessing material. Deep borehole would be easier to defend than a shallower repository.
At 5km deep the temperature nears 300 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure is very high.
Nobody can control & manage the waste once it is there.
German experience show that that is necessary as it can leak and move relative fast (also due to the heat it generates).
The Germans created a deposit (billions of tax-payers money) at 600m deep in stable salt formation (Gorleben). After ~20years the radio-active waste shows to be leaking upwards. So it will have to be removed within some decades (which will cost many times more than the storage operation).
Please get your facts straight. No nuclear waste has been deposited at Gorleben’s salt dome, and nothing is “leaking upwards”. We are now exploring the Gorleben salt dome for 40 years if it is a good deposit for high active nuclear waste – this is a purely political problem, geologists and other experts are already sure that it is “good enough”, but politicians are not interested in a solution.
Surely you are confusing it with Asse 2 (which is not a stable salt formation, but an old salt mine which was operated since 1905), which was an experimental deposit site for low and medium active nuclear waste. No heat-generating waste down there. And no leaking upwards has ever been detected. The amount of radioactivity down there is around the amount of the radioactivity which was part of the extracted salt. The concept for closing the deposit was sound (filling up the voids with salt and a protective fluid), but again politicians decided to try to get the waste out again – which is of course an incredibly bad idea.
Sorry, I interchanged the two somewhat.
Do you know what the time schedule is for getting the nuclear waste above ground again at Asse 2?
Isn’t UCS part of MIT or was started at MIT?
Yes, the UCS was formed at MIT and received its initial funding from that institution.
There is a fascinating interview of Dr Henry Kendall, one of the founders, posted at http://www.aip.org/history/ohilist/4704_2.html.
He describes, quite proudly, how the cleverly named “Union of Concerned Scientists” was actually just one scientist and one economist, even up until the time when they gained national prominence by participating in a series of hearings about reactor safety.
After they started questioning reactor safety, the money started flowing in.
This Lester looks like a dreamer without sense of reality and without knowing his numbers.
“…it is inconceivable that we can achieve the carbon emission reductions…without nuclear…
Denmark 44% renewable electricity now, ~60% target for 2020, 100% before 2050.
Germany has 23% renewable electricity now, ~35% target for 2020.
These countries do it while having far less space per inhabitant than USA.
we need innovations ….. so that disaster at this scale (Fukushima) cannot..
So he states generation 4 reactors are needed. It will take 10-20 years before those are developed. Then a building program has to start..
This implies that his new nuclear in USA comes at a time when more advanced countries are nearing the phase that 100% of all electricity is renewable.
So it puts USA behind for the next 30years…
by far the largest low carbon investment of China is in nuclear….
That is a lie. Or he even does not know his numbers.
By far the largest low carbon investment of China is in wind!
‘..By far the largest low carbon investment of China is in wind!’
I understand hydro investment dwarfs wind, but coal is far bigger again.Anyway investment or capacity levels are less important than actual power production. Nuclear was at only about 1% of capacity, but as usual, because of its high capacity factor, percentage of production was nearly twice that. Wind is the opposite, with about 6% of capacity, encouraged by higher prices than thermal power, but with low inherent capacity factors as well as problems with transmission and integration into the grid. As a result, wind production was not much more than nuclear, and the wind rollout has slowed down a bit from a few years ago. http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/226761/wind-power-growing-faster-coal-china-zombie-fact
This Lester wrongly said that by far the largest low carbon investment of China is in nuclear. And that is wrong as that is wind.
– coal is not a low carbon investment;
– the statement of Lester did concern investment (not production).
Largest by what ? Amount invested ? Might be wind, but not really sure.
Number of GW installed ? Then yes it’s wind.
Number of TWh generated by year ? Then the 28 nuclear plants currently under construction and which continue to progress to come online until 2016 will generate significantly more than the wind capacity planned until there.
And as opposite to Danemark, China doesn’t have the opportunity to export up to 60% of the current it generates, it’s export opportunity is instead 0, it will soon find out that above a given level, wind is very difficult to integrate to it’s grid.
Largest by what? Amount invested? … Number of TWh generated by year? ”
I understand that Lester meant amount of money invested (but my english knowledge is not excellent).
The ($) amounts invested in wind are factors more than that invested in nuclear.
Regarding TWh, wind and nuclear produce about the same amounts.
However assuming China continues it’s latest policy, wind will surpass nuclear despite the new NPP’s under construction.
Total renewable production is far more than nuclear.
I assume that in some years they will also find that base-load PP’s are no longer needed (as in good conditions Wind and Solar produce more than needed), and that NPP’s miss flexibility to fill the gaps wind leaves behind.
The ($) amounts invested in wind are factors more than that invested in nuclear.
Do you have any links or sources with data, or are you simply making assertions? Are you including the investments that China has made in factories specifically designed to produce turbines and solar panels for export, or have you just included the investments made in renewable systems to produce electricity for domestic consumption?
I assume the 25 new NPP’s that China builds cost in total ~$150billion or less.
So nuclear investment roughly $20billion/year.
China’s investments in renewable $294billion in 5 years (2011-2015). Roughly $60billion/year (Bloomberg).
This year they target to install 18GW wind and 10GW solar.
Solar was nowhere in China but, as EU and US now have import restrictions, their solar industry now also starts producing for their home country.
For a nice overview:
I assume the 25 new NPP’s that China builds cost in total ~$150billion or less.
So nuclear investment roughly $20billion/year.
What makes you think China is stopping with 25 new nuclear plants?
Additionally, there is some evidence from your own link that the number you claim as renewable investment may include nuclear.
China, while still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, continues to adjust its energy mix to include clean energy such as solar, wind and nuclear.
There is NO DOUBT that it includes large hydro, which renewables advocates include or exclude depending on convenience.
Even in China local protesters stop nuclear projects now.
So this is no longer a phenomenon in the western world alone!
Why would anyone assume that the “western world” has a monopoly on stupidity?
“What makes you think China is stopping with 25 new nuclear plants?..”
I estimated that they would build those 25 NPP’s in a period of 7,5years.
That deliver an investment of ~$20billion/a which I used to compare.
I used that for comparison.
Whether China continues with new NPP’s after these 25 is not relevant for the comparison. Especially since they will also continue with new wind and solar capacity.
…number you claim as renewable investment may include nuclear….
I realized that other renewable (e.g. hydro) may confound the figures. So I added their wind (18GW) and solar (10GW) targets for this year, which are explicitly stated.
Assume a ~$2/KW investment (to my opinion not high), then this deliver ~$56billion investment for this year.
So I do not think that the ~$60billion/a number includes nuclear.
Note also that the article is written by an author of Roland Berger consultancy. A western consultancy office which will use western definition of renewable.
Please read the $2/KW investment as $2/W investment. Sorry.
Giuliani, former NYC mayor, was on its way to lobby for Indian Point.
No news for a while.
He is a good pro nuclear spoke person.
Unfortunately because Rudy’s also Republican, local media portrays him as a has-been hero turned heartless crank. We need some movie and country stars hawking nukes loud out of the closet.
This really is a media war.
I think the Al Gore analogy for nuclear is well stated and I agree. It’s about a *movement* that gets people *excited* about nuclear as we see *millions* of youth get excited about renewables. I think this takes great mass media as Jim suggests but also those Tupperware parties around themes, in this case nuclear, that are quite effective.
Rod, I think you are wrong about gas being limited, as you implied. For the immediate future…10 years out, it’s quite plentiful and now the talk of building, again, LNG export terminals is picking up, and all talk of LNG import terminals, dropped. Gas is going to be around for a long long time.
I think the gas-is-dangerous (at every level) needs to be shouted from the town square. I think anti-Fracking films like Frack Nation needs to be evaluated as a “pro-gas, anti-nuclear” documentary since the failure-on-purpose to mention nuclear as a climate change fighting tool is left out.
LNG export means the national prices will become much more similar to the international ones, and rise significantly. This will make the current very low prices a thing of the past even if shale stays abundant (it’s abundant compared to the US consumption, but not the international one).
Was in Ogunquit ME this week end. Could not find gas that did not have 10% ethanol.
This is wrong and immoral.
What is wrong with ethanol?
It’s a mandate.
It’s got a hydroxyl hanging off the end of it.
It’s a partly burned hydrocarbon.
Someone will go to jail if it isn’t in your ’86 octane gasoline.
It raises the price of food for the poor.
It separates in your gas tank, then rots your rings.
It’s s slippery slope, now they want to make it 15%.
No kidding …. This gets me mad. I am from Canada.
The part about the poor and the food of price is immoral. The United Nations has told the Western World repeatedly to stop this. Senator McCain calls this the stupidest thing the US has ever done.
Now, I am mad. I did not know I had no choice in the US. I shopped around to no avail. Mobil, Shell, Sunoco etc. 10% ethanol no choice.
Also lesser quality crops are used. We are downgrading the food supply.
People are poor because they have kids they cannot afford. If people were not so child greedy the world would be much better.
You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Do you realize how ill informed that statement is? People are poor because they have no money. There are tens of millions of childless poor people.
Poverty is often caused by having no job and no prospects for a job. Both my mother and father were born poor. Their parents worked very hard, but often there was no money to be had. They scrimped and saved, but then suffered setbacks that took all of their savings.
Fortunately for me, dad finished school when “there was a war on” and he survived his enlistment to be able to take advantage of the GI Bill. That program, along with the fact that state sponsored colleges were so inexpensive in the 1950s that they were affordable for all, provided enough benefits for him to go to school, keep a roof over his head and still eat now and again – with the help of a part time job.
I was blessed by the fact that Dad found a good, steady job with the power company that lasted for the next 35 years with no interruptions. His hard work and good fortune enabled my siblings and I to live completely different childhoods than his.
Mom’s story was not dissimilar, but her single mom managed to pay for the state school bills; she did not have the “opportunity” to earn a GI Bill.
But… but… the farmers love it!
Where is the US religious base lobby ? The worldwide common sense lobby ? Why is the UN repeating this and not putting advertising money on US TV? Where is CNN ?
Taking food away from the poor so that westerners can fill their gas tanks.
The same nonsense is also prevailing in Western Europe.
We have all gone mad.
This goes way, way before the nuclear, baseload, coal, natural gas debate. It is energy related, that is for sure.
William Engdahl provided one interpretation of the bio-fuel business and its relationship to the global food production business in Getting Used to Life Without Food. It is a rather scary picture if true, and somehow it has the ring of reality to me.
I don’t know how we have gotten to the point where a tiny slice of humanity has determined that money is the only thing worth pursuing and that the only purpose for business is making more money for the managers and stockholders (in that order) of the business. Long term thinking is verboten and so is consideration of the importance of workers that make enough money with enough security that they are willing to purchase products that they do not really need so that they can have more fulfilling and enjoyable lives.
So it’s the fuel made from food.
Forgot it, getting old.
We had that discussion (food price up because we have nice environmental ideas) years ago.
Thought we left that idea behind here.
Do we have that here in Europe (NL) too?
Never noticed any sign about it.
Great link. The author calls it a génocide.
And I get 10% lower gas mileage than I did with gasoline which did not contain methanol.
So, they took out 10% of my gasoline and replaced it with useless filler, which nevertheless increases the price and makes all manner of food items vastly more expensive.
It does not substitute for the gasoline that it displaces. I’m still burning exactly the same amount of petroleum per mile traveled.
I keep a log of all my gasoline purchases with dates and mileage…. It could be simple correlation, but my gas mileage went from around 24 – 25 MPG to 20 – 22 MPG when the methanol mandates kicked in. With large variations during the transitional period.
Argh. Meant to type “ethanol” in the two spots I typed “methanol”.
…they took out 10% of my gasoline and replaced it with useless filler, which nevertheless increases the price..
That price increase is the only good thing as:
– people may drive lower (to save fuel), which causes less accidents
– the slower driving implies less CO2.
EU car fuel prices are so high because governments use these two arguments + costs of roads, etc.
I am unashamed to admit that I LIKE to drive and feel no guilt at all. If you are worried about CO2, STOP FIGHTING NUCLEAR ENERGY.
On the other hand, I don’t mind the idea of heavily taxing petroleum products and using the income from that tax to reduce other taxes while still maintaining important government spending programs.
… don’t mind the idea of heavily taxing petroleum products and using the income from that tax to reduce other taxes ..
We fully agree!
We should raise the tax towards $10/liter (~$40/gallon) and lower other taxes (e.g. VAT, which is 21% here) accordingly, so government can continue/improve important programs (e.g. education as the quality of our schools sets our future)!
Apart from the dangers for next generations, Nuclear requires so much subsidy that it is unattractive.
Looks likely that ~60% of the turnover of the new Hinckley Point C (less dangerous, but not even gen.4) NPP will be subsidy (on average during the 35years subsidy period).
Bas – Europe used to mandate some percentage of biofuels, a lot of which came from Indonesian palm oil plantations. The rain forest cleared to grow palm oil was on peat soils, which then dry out and outgas far more carbon dioxide than equivalent fossil fuels would have done. I’m not sure if EU rules still fund this vandalism, but the drained peat will still keep giving off greenhouse gases for years to come.It’s helped put Indonesia into fourth place in the world for GG emissions, after huge industrialised countries like China and the US.
We should stop this biofuel phenomenon.
Thought we killed that idea some years ago.
I also do not like the idea that power plants use biomass
This spring I biked around western part of the Baltic sea and passed in Germany a power plant that was fueled by tree-trunks. Emotionally it was a bad view to see all that nice wood turned into chips and then burned.
Passing along the coasts of Denmark through Copenhagen, I discovered that bikers have priority above cars. Even at traffic lights!
If you (as biker) press the button on a pole in front of you near the light, they change immediately and cars have to stop, so the biker gets a green light within 10 seconds.
That is the correct way, as:
– cars spread toxic waste that the biker and citizens have to inhale, which shorten their life (few years in busy city centers according to EU studies);
– it stimulates people to use the bike as biking goes faster through the city.
And biking is a lot healthier; one of the reasons Cubans live longer than US citizens.
This almost makes me feel guilty that we (I, my girlfriend and our daughter) have two cars…
Forcing motor vehicles to make frequent un-foreseeable stops (can’t coast up to them) and accelerate again increases the energy waste and pollution. Installing such lights should be regarded as a crime against the environment.
Just viewed the PBS video. The host right off spoils things by politicizing the issue with her focus on Obama’s support in a tone that is not a positive endorsement. The person who interviews Dr. Lester too often leaves out nuclear;s positive points in the little summaries he sprinkles throughout. At one point he says something like ” although nuclear has cost benefits…” — he omits the ” clean air” benefit. Generally the invasive comments by the reporter seem like an attempt to control or steer the viewer’s reactions. He wants to make sure that by touching this ” offensive” topic of nuclear he is not seen as avidly promoting it by giving Dr. Lester his say. So he tips the balance away from pro nuclear and is therefore not objective. Dr. Lester was just great. He was the voice of reason for astute viewers. It is not easy to be interviewed by media on camera. Overall, the waste issue was overemphasized, with no mention of the polluting aspects of other energy sources. And unforgivable is the bit on China, where they do not mention the reduction of pollution the new nuclear facilities will bring — especially since pollution is such a HUGE issue there.
Seems to me the reporter was ignorant, with little knowledge.
“… At one point he says something like ” although nuclear has cost benefits…”…”
Despite the huge liability subsidies new nuclear costs more than any other method (check Hinckley Point C). Even existing nuclear apparently cannot always compete (despite having no depreciation, the liability subsidies, etc) as recent closures show.
So the reporter was wrong with his statement: “nuclear has cost benefits”.
This kind of goes into the “damning with faint praise” box:
Okay, Red Bull acknowledges that this chart is misinterpreted, but:
“…The Fukushima event was catastrophic and there is no denying that. It caused a great amount of harm to a great many people’s lives and it will solemnly be remembered as one of the more horrible tragedies of this generation.”
Is Red Bull confusing the “horrible tragedy” and “catastrophic Fukuskima event” with the quake and tsunami? Yes, hundreds of thousands were displaced and kept from returning home with great trauma and distress, but you’d swear Red Bull’s almost “mis-implying” that they were all WIPED OUT! Is this sloppy hyperbole reporting or another sly media knife twisting into nuclear’s ribs?
BTW, can’t find any Red Bull comment on this feature to correct them by. Bad enough this was linked from a Fox News tech column page!
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Looking at their lineup, Westinghouse seems bound and determined to keep Gen IV in its “place” which is apparently the…
So they are developing a scaled down version of the AP1000, which is a scaled up version of the AP600,…